The Lived Experience of a Bone Marrow Transplant Survivor
Martin, Cheryl Blunck
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Bone Marrow Transplantation (BMT) has progressed from an experimental therapy to a viable treatment for cancer. While the prospects for long-term survival following the procedure has increased, little is known about the quality of this survival. The present study was intended to explore the thoughts, perceptions and feelings of one BMT survivor regarding his/her lived experience with the BMT procedure. The following questions were developed for the study: (1) What thoughts, perceptions and feelings does a BMT survivor have regarding the lived experience of the BMT procedure? (2) How does a BMT survivor perceive the BMT procedure has affected his/her quality of life? (3) What interventions and support measures would a EMT survivor recommend to health care professionals to enhance the care received? A qualitative case study design was employed to investigate the lived experience of one BMT survivor. This case study was an in-depth investigation of a single individual over time. The BMT survivor for this study was a 37 year old, white, married male. His original diagnosis was in 1990 of duodenum cancer. Then in 1931 he was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma and underwent BMT in the summer of 1992. The data collection instrument utilized in this study assisted in obtaining descriptive information from five, one-hour, face-to-face focused taped interviews. Through taped interviews, the researcher and subject explored aspects of the BMT experience that were important to the subject and the researcher attempted to discover patterns and conceptual themes to understand the BMT situation as lived or experienced by the subject. The conceptual themes that were evaluated from this study were spiritual, psychological, physiological and social. The themes emphasized thoughts and feelings about hope, positive attitude, a philosophy for living, control, stress, fear, returning to normal, desire for knowledge, side effects, nutrition, body image, roles and relationships, isolation, social connection and intimacy. Based on the findings of this study major implications for advanced nursing practice include providing relevant client information, establishment of a relationship with health care professionals that promotes a caring and sincere interest, participation in decision making and the implementation of knowledgeable interventions for managing physical changes.
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